If I could rewind to when
my father stayed at the clinic
in Marblehead to be lifted down
from breaking off berserk

from alcohol, I would flow
backwards and record each word
uttered in hysteric, assured tones;
he talked as if trapped.

Of course he was;
plate glass,
smoked rain,
iris, retina, lens.

Window pane.


d said...

is that yours? i love it.

shaun said...

thanks d. yes its mine
i wrote it many years ago

el topo said...


Dee said...

The first two stanzas had me going but the last one lost me. In a culture too given to pop music, simple meaning becomes a real art in and of itself.

shaun said...

I read you loud and clear, Dee. Simple or direct meaning is my challenge as a poet, especially considering my subject matter. What might that be, you ask? Why, existence itself, of course (such as it is, immersed in a quantum reality, wherein we risk madness in daring to understand it).

The last stanza is technically comprised of only two words; the stanza before it

(of course he was
plate glass
smoked rain
iris, retina, lens)

is nothing but an exemplification of my father being "trapped" (as indicated just beforehand in the final line of the second stanza):

Of course he was trapped.
(Trapped behind) plate glass.
(Trapped behind) smoked rain;
"Trapped behind the lens of his eyes".

The last two word "stanza"
is intended to convey the final conclusion, which is to say a "window pane" at the rehab clinic now seperates him from the rest of the world and all its inherent pressures. It is meant to signify the transparency of view a window offers while simultaneously acting as a (plate glass) wall, trapping him inside.